Hello steampunks and friends!
When Airship Ambassador launched in April, 2010, I didn’t really have any plans in mind about where it might go and how it would develop. It started with a single weekly post, which in time equated to a completed interview or two each month.
For a while now, my goal is to complete an interview each week. I have talked with many authors, artists, musicians, and other creators in our community over time, and met hundreds more. Our global community is pretty amazing at harnessing creativity, and forging and strengthening relationships
While Airship Ambassador started as blog and interview site, it didn’t take long for my involvement to grow to include the main news and information resource website, then The Steampunk Museum, Steampunk Hands Around the World (#4 coming up in February, 2017), and opportunities to speak at conventions and events, consult with media companies and outlets, and officiate some amazing weddings.
As we round out 2016, we’ve all reached a major milestone – Interview #100!
To mark the occasion, instead of chatting with just one person, I’ve gone back to some of the people in the first ninety-nine interviews for a quick follow up. I’ve asked each of them several questions, and the answers were so good that I’ve had to break this up into ten (!) parts.
Please welcome back:
Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine, read the first interview here.
Evan Butterfield, read the first interview here.
Gail Carriger, read the first interview here.
Jaymee Goh, read the first interview here.
James Ng, read the first interview here.
Mike Perschon, read the first interview here.
Diana Pho, read the first interview here.
Richard Preston, read the first interview here.
Lev AC Rosen, read the first interview here.
Arthur Slade, read the first interview here.
Nick Valentino, read the first interview here.
Jean-Christophe Valtat, read the first interview here.
Thanks for all of your support and encouragement!
Here’s looking forward to the next 100 interviews!
What is your current involvement in steampunk today?
Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine: Pip Ballantine and I are creators of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. Presently we are releasing The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh, a young adult spinoff series featuring the Ministry Seven and debuting it at Steampunk unLimited 2016. Before the end of the year, we are also releasing the audio collection Magical Mechanizations; the digital, print, and audio versions of Countless Hues of Crimson; and launching the final season of the Parsec-winning podcast, Tales from the Archives.
Arthur Slade: I am in the process of relaunching my The Hunchback Assignments series as Modo: Mission Clockwork. The title change is partly due to the movie in the works (which will be titled Modo). So it seemed like the perfect time to rebrand the series as even more obviously steampunk and adventure. As you can imagine, it’s a bit of an undertaking. It also brings the title of the series in line with the graphic novel Modo: Ember’s End. We are also working towards a series of audiobooks. It’s been a curious process from my side of things, because, of course I had to re-read all of the books and find myself itching to write about the characters again. So we’ll see what comes of that. Even a novella might be kind of fun.
Jaymee Goh: My main involvement is as a critic. I’m a PhD candidate at the University of California, Riverside, writing a dissertation on whiteness in steampunk. It’s an evolution of my thought from when I first got involved in steampunk as an advocate for multiculturalism — after years of presenting and talking about multiculturalism, I became disappointed at how steampunk still retains its strong associations with white supremacist histories of Victoriana and American settler colonialism, so I wanted to explore the associations of its iconography and what kinds of affects it generates, and how that is reproduced in social media discourse on multiculturalism in steampunk, and then into its cultural production. I’m currently writing the fourth chapter, which will explore how a polycentric approach to steampunk, one that very consciously disengages with its whiteness, complicates the very feelings that we come to enjoy in the aesthetic.
I have also edited two anthologies that are steampunk-themed. The latest, The Sea Is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia, came out last year. I’m primarily a fiction writer in steampunk–my ongoing short fiction series explores the changing landscape of a Penang and Southeast Asia that is not colonized by the British.
Jean-Christophe Valtat: I have finished the third volume of the “Mysteries of New Venice Trilogy”, called “Suspended Citadels” and once I have solved a strange case of Publisher’s Block, I am determined to launch it on the unsuspecting world. I think it can only be called steampunk in the broader sense of the term, since it includes a lot of other niche elements from cyclepunk to dieselpunk, and my own brand of ”dreampunk”, inspired by late XIXth /early XXth century work on lucid dreaming, for instance.
Nick Valentino: After finishing the novel, Thomas Riley and The Maelstrom, I became heavily involved in a project with my wife, Eva Hunter, in making a quarterly publication of steampunk penny dreadfuls. I write the Scary Dreadfuls which are traditional penny dreadfuls with a new steampunk/horror twist. They feature new stories, new monsters, and adversaries than the old ones. We figured that not many people are keeping the penny dreadful alive so we thought we’d make our own. We do everything in house from the writing, modeling, printing all the way to assembly. We offer them at cons and for sale online. (www.thedreadfuls.com) Part of our inspiration for them was that no one gets interesting mail. We always want interesting mail so why not offer an inexpensive product that you can enjoy throughout the year. Eva writes the Naughty Dreadfuls which are steampunk erotica in penny dreadful form, with custom photo sets inside. I take all the photos for her Naughty Dreadfuls which has spurred me into a side photography business called, Black Rabbit Photography. In addition of shooting for the dreadfuls, I’ve also shot sets for Suicide Girls.
As writing novels goes, I’m also working on the third and final novel for the Thomas Riley series as well as working on a steampunk horror novel called, The Coffin Breaker.
We’ve been attending several of the Pacific Northwest conferences as well as Dragon Con in Atlanta.
Whew! That’s a good place to break in the first part in this first question.
Join us tomorrow for the second half of the answers to this question.